Secret Chambers: The inside story of cells and complex life

Paperback | August 22, 2013

byMartin Brasier

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In the follow up to Darwin's Lost World, Martin Brasier introduces the quest for the missing history of life and the cell. Through a series of journeys it emerges that the modern plant cell is one of the most deeply puzzling and unlikely steps in the whole history of life. Decoding this puzzle is a great adventure that has mainly taken place over the last half century. Brasier puts the big questions into context through lively descriptions of his explorations around the world, from the Caribbean Sea and the Egyptian pyramids, to the shores of the great lakes inCanada, and to the reefs and deserts of Australia. Covering the period from 1 to 2 billion years ago - a period he once dubbed "the boring billion" - he demonstrates how it in fact involved great evolutionary potential with the formation of the complex (eukaryotic) cell. Without this cell there would be nothing on Earth today except bacteria, andthe formation of this cell was a fundamental turning point in the history of life on Earth. Weaving together several threads, Brasier emphasizes the importance of single-celled forms to marine ecosystems; symbiosis and coral reefs; and the architecture and beauty of single-celled Foraminifera and what they tell us about evolution. From a master storyteller comes a vivid description of theearliest biological forms and a set of fascinating tales of travels and research.

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From the Publisher

In the follow up to Darwin's Lost World, Martin Brasier introduces the quest for the missing history of life and the cell. Through a series of journeys it emerges that the modern plant cell is one of the most deeply puzzling and unlikely steps in the whole history of life. Decoding this puzzle is a great adventure that has mainly taken...

Martin Brasier is an English paleontologist made known from his study of microfossils, the Origin of Life, and Precambrian fossils such as the Ediacara biota. He is Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Oxford. He has worked on the Cambrian Explosion and was leader of the UN 's IGCP project on defining the Cambrian geologica...

other books by Martin Brasier

Darwin's Lost World: The hidden history of animal life
Darwin's Lost World: The hidden history of animal life

Kobo ebook|Mar 11 2010

$10.09 online$12.99list price(save 22%)
Microfossils
Microfossils

Kobo ebook|May 21 2013

$107.99

Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.01 inPublished:August 22, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199683492

ISBN - 13:9780199683499

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Table of Contents

1. The Secret Chamber2. The Gower Street Mystery3. Sargasso4. A Phantom Island5. Mouth of the Dragon6. Wheels of Fortune7. Mangrove Tree8. Riddle of the Sphinx9. Gunflint10. The Far from Boring Billion11. Life's Little Game

Editorial Reviews

"Bursting with almost boyish enthusiasm, Brasier takes us on an adventure with lively vignettes from his career." --Henry Nicholls, New Scientist